Thursday, June 23, 2011
Today-I won't say I went into hibernation. But I went to get coffee, did my workout, and tried really hard to forget that it's the day my mom died. And my younger sister's birthday. I always felt she needed to make sure we were grown, but-it was a shock to have her leave us on Amanda's birthday. Meg and I had discussed and hoped and prayed that wouldn't happen but it did. I remember that whole night so vividly... We had been told for weeks that it was going to be any minute. I don't remember leaving the hospital often-I couldn't get my dad to eat or sleep. And he never REALLY accepted that my mom was dying. His hope was touching and frustrating at the same time. God-he loved her so much. I will be lucky if anyone loves me even a quarter of how much he loved her. That night-we all stayed in her room-watching her breathe. It was shallow and scared me. I went for a lot of walks. I know that I was given a few minutes alone-but truthfully? I just sat. What do you say when it's over and you love someone so much words don't even exist. I had spent months frantically going over my wedding plans, my baby plans, my husband plans-asking for advice-trying to fit the lifetime we should have had into that one little sad hospital room.She desrved better. I deserved better. I should have had a whole life where my mother didn't suffer and I could go to her with boy troubles and have my hair stroked and been told someone somewhere would love me as hard as dad loved her. I deserved to have her around when I have a baby,get married, need her. That night was agonizing. I walked the halls, didn't talk. I was left alone by the nurses,except to ask if mom needed anything. "No", I said. "No". I didn't want to be a bother. And yes- I was with my family but we were all separate in our grief. My father told me later Meg shocked him with her stoicism, or was it detachment? I went to the waiting room. But then came back. It didn't feel real.Finally-it happened. I don't remember much except I had fallen asleep in a chair. All of a sudden-their was a commotion. We were ordered out of the room. They tried to save her. I pulled a doctor off her and cried-"let her be! She's a DNR.". Yes- I pulled a doctor off my mother and made him stop. The doctors crowded around me in the corridor-asking questions. You see- I looked so composed. I looked down the hallway and saw Dr. Campbell running. I realized he was looking at me. He shooed all the residents away. And in my mother's room-doctor after doctor shook our hands, silently, acknowledging us. I found out later we were famous for never leaving mom alone. I made phone call after phone call to relatives. I called my grandmother, my mother's mother. The denial on the other end was too much for me, so I got off the phone and kept dialing. All the time wondering how I could? Finally-we all got into a cab together. All of us-the family. And as I leaned back in the seat-I had a sudden vision of her trailing our cab, dancing in the sky, and she had no more pain. And I felt peace.